4. Scaling | Preserve the Intended Stimulus

4. Scaling | Preserve the Intended Stimulus


On this episode, both host Jason Ackerman (@thejasonackerman) and Jason Fernandez (@jfern3)discuss how to scale effectively, the common mistakes that everyone makes when scaling for athletes. Along with the less talked about “scaling up” or Rx plus. 

People are afraid to do CrossFit, not because it’s dangerous but because they can’t do the movements. It’s essential to  People see pull-ups, HSPUs, muscle-ups and think, “I can’t do that, so I can’t do CrossFit.” But as coaches, we all know that not true. This is where scaling comes into play. The goal of scaling is to preserve the intended stimulus, as stated in the Level 1 handbook. 


  • Try using the word “modify” instead of “scaling” with newer athletes, can save confusion (4:30) 
  • Rhabdomyolysis (6:05)
  • Three types of scaling: new athletes, injured athletes, and scaling to keep the intended stimulus. (8:08)
  • Varying your scaling is just as crucial as varying your programing (14:25) 
  • Scaling mistakes (15:00)
  • Prgroessvice scaling (19:20) 
  • Striping weight mid-workout (21:45)
  • How to ensure athletes are having the best hour of their day when you need to strip down the bar (23:12)
  • How to avoid miss scaling, e.g. mini rounds (25:50)
  • Scaling for injury -persevering the movement requirements (30:00)
  • “Bus stop” scaling (31:20)
  • “a cat and dog don’t make a giraffe” (35:55)
  • Scaling up (39:05)
  • Big Ticket items (42:38)

Don’t hesitate to scale one movement in reps but not the other” -Jason Ackerman (38:40)

The biggest take away from this episode is:

  1. When it comes to scaling, you are only limited by your creativity. (18:05)
  2. Don’t be that coach that whenever you have double unders in a workout, you tell people just do “twice as many singles.” 
  3. Communion with you athletes – show them you’re coming with from a caring place (25:00)

Listen to how Jason made a 65-year-old pass out because he didn’t scale appropriately. (49:55)

We value your feedback. After listening, please hit me up with any questions, comments, or thoughts on how we can make this show even better, and if you enjoyed it, please share it! 
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